Helping was his ‘Destiny’
STARING death in the eye inspired a new life for Brisbane’s Anthony Fong.
While in Thailand during 2008, a truck collided with a tuk-tuk in which Anthony was travelling.
Left with multiple screws and plates in his left eye socket, Anthony returned to Australia with a new outlook.
“It was a sign to wake up and there was more to life than drugs and partying,” he said.
“It was a fake world.
“I got back and spoke to one of my mates. I distanced myself from a lot of my friends, then met my wife and she put me on the straight and narrow as well.”
That was the beginning of a selfless existence which has turned full circle.
Currently preparing for a fundraising ride from Melbourne to Mooloolaba this month, Anthony is making the journey to support ‘Destiny Rescue’ – an organisation dedicated to saving children from sexual exploitation and slavery.
Only six weeks ago Anthony joined a rescue in Thailand where he went into “the belly of the beast” to help rescue children.
“It was an emotional roller-coaster,” he said.
“Until you are there on the doorstep of what’s gong on ... it was a big awakening to life in a way. Here in Australia we are so lucky, and you head over there and it’s just the way of world.
“In a way it’s normality whereas we look at it as ‘how can that ever happen’.
“The hardest thing is coming back to Australia. Working in the hospitality industry, you always see people being rude or asking for something in a rude manner. You just think ‘you have nothing to be rude about’.”
Given Australia helps fuel the exploitation of children, with men heading overseas to visit brothels with young girls, Anthony believes the ride is a great vehicle to spread his message.
“It’s a scourge on modern society. Millions of children around the world are trafficked or trapped in sexual exploitation with little hope for freedom. We bring freedom. We shine a light in the darkness,” he said.
Anthony is hoping to make the ride an annual event, where participants can undertake the
whole journey, or join the Melbourne to Sydney or Sydney to Mooloolaba sections.
This year’s Road to Happiness ride will set the foundation for the future.
“I’m not an endurance athlete. I never was, I was always at the gym and people used to give me grief that I had no engine,” Anthony said. “I thought ‘what could I do to challenge myself and make an impact’. The first time on a long ride I cramped on my calves and quads. Random
cyclists were rubbing my legs.
“Second time the same thing. I was thinking this cycling game is not for me. Then I started smaller.
“I started with 30km, 40km and then bigger kilometres.”
He’s been training for months, and will have a ceremonial departure from the Melbourne Storm home game against the Sydney Roosters on August 12.
Cycle Zone Mooloolaba is providing assistance for the journey, supplying equipment and mechanical supplies.
Anthony Fong will ride his bike from Melbourne to Mooloolaba in support of Destiny Rescue.